Why Sweat Testing Matters?

Research shows that at only about 2 percent loss of body weight through sweat, performance begins to decline. Gatorade Sports Science Institute scientist Lisa Heaton and dietitian Linda Samuels traveled to the Advocate Center to conduct sweat testing during a Windy City Bulls practice. The results are used to help create personalized fuel and hydration plans for each individual player.

Dr. Chuck Bush Joseph of Midwest Orthopedics at Rush, Steve Kashul & Linda Samuels discuss Gatorade’s Contribution to Sports Nutrition Consulting and Sweat Testing: Why sweat testing matters and what the players and the league are getting out of it.

Linda Samuels, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN is a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. She is owner of Training Table Sports Nutrition, in Chicago. Linda has specialized in Ironman length tri-nutrition for 12 years.

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Keeping Active in the New Year

By: Briana Jamshidi, Rehab Technician for ATI Physical Therapy

After a long week of work, countless errands and running around, the weekends may be your opportunity for leisure to do nothing but sit around all day. While there’s nothing wrong with taking well deserved time off to relax, you may be doing more of a disservice than you realize. The human body is designed for movement and as the saying goes, “sitting is the new smoking.” According to research at Cornell University Department of Ergonomics, sitting increases the pressure on your lower back by 90 percent compared to standing. It’s no wonder back pain is one of the most common health problems in today’s society. On the days that are meant for relaxing, you may want to reconsider how you spend your free time and consider these precautions to make sure you’re treating your body with the best care possible.

Go for a walk

All you need is 30 minutes a day. To make it more enjoyable, make it a family activity by going together for a walk around the neighborhood or at the local park. If you have dogs you can choose to take them along as well, instead of just playing with them inside. If you live in a cold-weather climate, many indoor malls open early for walkers.

Set the intention to get more steps in. Park the car in the back of the parking lot, get off the bus one or two stops early or use phone calls as an opportunity to stand up and move around.

There are numerous benefits to walking daily. Not only will this simple movement strengthen the muscles in your legs, but it will improve the blood flow throughout your body. Walking modifies your nervous system and boosts your mood, making you feel happier and more creative.

Stand up every 30 to 60 minutes

Unfortunately, you cannot offset hours of sitting with one hour of exercise. According to research at Start Standing, “marathon sitting” drastically changes your body’s metabolism. Your metabolism slows down by 90 percent after only 30 minutes of sitting. The enzymes that aid in fat burning slow down. The muscles in your lower body turn off. And after two hours of sitting, your good cholesterol reduces by 20 percent.

Fortunately, it’s as simple as standing up, stretching and walking around for as little as five minutes for your body’s metabolism to pick back up again.

Stretch out your hips and back

Prolonged sitting, especially with poor posture, causes your muscles to shorten, which is why they feel tight. You might experience shoulder pain, hip pain and even back pain. The deepest hip flexor, the Psoas, is directly connected to our lumbar (lower) spine. When you’re sitting, your hip flexors shorten, causing your glute muscles to elongate. This can cause a tight or pulling sensation in your back.

Negate these pains by stretching out your muscles. To get you started, ATI Physical Therapy’s Rehabilitation expert Briana Jamshidi shares with us a few recommended stretches and suggestions.

Stretches for Your Hips and Back

Click the image above to enlarge the infographic

Prioritize drinking enough water

Proper hydration and nutrient-dense meals are essential for a well-functioning body. Your body is up to 70 percent water and if you’re dehydrated, many functions of your body stop working as a result. Areas of the body that are not important for survival become deprived of water in order to supply the brain and other vital organs. As an example, cartilage is not considered a vital organ, so the body will pull water from it, dehydrating it. When the water content of cartilage drops, it loses its smooth, low-friction and wear resistant qualities, allowing it to become damaged.

It’s recommended to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day (body weight: 140 pounds, water intake: 70 ounces). Carrying a water bottle around with you helps makes sure you drink enough water each day. Proper hydration can result in more health benefits, such as improved skin complexion, increased energy, headache prevention and improved digestion.

Are aches and pains getting in the way of your daily activities?

If simple home interventions are not helping to lessen aches, pains and discomfort, it’s time to see a physical therapist. Stop by your nearest ATI Physical Therapy clinic for a complimentary screening and get back to doing you.

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21 Benefits of Drinking Water

Your body is made mostly of water. The things your body does work better with the stuff, and when it doesn’t get enough of it, it suffers. Something as simple as drinking a glass of water can be easy to forget when exercising. But you need it more than you think.

Below are 21 reasons you should be drinking more water. Some of these may surprise you!

Topless man drinking water from plastic container


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Utilize Technology to Keep You Hydrated While Working Out

Clear Glass H2o Bottle

New research suggests that it may be harder to determine your hydration levels than originally thought. When allowed to drink freely (no drinking schedule), nearly 40% of collegiate athletes finished their workouts in a dehydrated state. Luckily, with the rise of technology in nearly every facet of our lives, there are more tools than ever to help us stay hydrated while pushing our bodies to the limit. With all the focus being put on the impressive new devices and workout gadgets on the market today, it’s important remember that while these fancy tools can certainly help, even simple methods of staying hydrated can help keep you healthy.

Simple Technology is Smart Technology

As it turns out, all the technology in the world cannot benefit us as much as water can. Without proper hydration, your workout/sports performance will suffer. It’s common to experience dizziness, cramping, headaches, and confusion while dehydrated, but often times you may not experience severe symptoms at all. This is where technology can help. Devices that check your vital signs can warn you if you need more water, and simpler tools like reusable water bottles and camel packs now allow you to easily bring your water wherever you go. Many bottles today even offer features that can keep the contents cooler for long periods of time, help cut down on the overuse of plastic, and help filter/remove harmful chemicals found in many mainstream water supplies.

Apps that Keep You Coming Back For More

One of the hardest parts of getting hydrated is sticking to a drinking schedule, even when you don’t feel thirsty. Most people think that as long as they bring a bit of water and keep the palette wet, they’ll be fine. But even if you aren’t thirsty, you can still get dehydrated. For reasons like this, it’s important to have some education on health and fitness before making a significant exercise commitment.

Instead of shelling out hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on a personal trainer, getting proper and consistent health advice can be accessed right from your phone. There’s an endless number of apps and downloadable content that help you design a proper hydration and workout routine. It will know how strenuous your exercise was, warn you if you’re a risk of dehydration, and it’ll know if you decided to skip a day (or three). Some apps can even learn how to tailor specific workouts to your own anatomy – thus providing a workout routine that will maximize how it benefits you.

Don’t Get Too Caught Up in the Hype

While all this new exercise technology is a great way to get more Americans active, there is also a downside. It can become easy to forget that the reason for working out is to be healthy. At the end of the day, no one truly needs fancy technology to stay hydrated or get into shape. Using a workout app should be seen as a tool, not a necessity.

Much of the technology we use on a daily basis can become tremendously addictive, and workout apps/gear are no different. Over-exercise can actually do more harm than good, and finding the right balance between dedication and dependence isn’t always easy. Ensuring you stay properly hydrated isn’t rocket science – routine and paying attention to your body are the two most important things you can do to stay hydrated. So be aware of how much you’re relying on workout tech, and don’t hesitate to take a break if you find yourself becoming too dependent on it.

Using technology to supplement the workout experience and to stay hydrated can help transform your health for the better. But keeping in mind the dangers this same technology poses is just as important as the workout itself. Learning how to use these advancements in avoiding dehydration can increase the quality of your workouts, and put you on a path to becoming the healthiest possible version of yourself.

Contributed by Jess Walter

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5 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

The holiday season can be challenging when it comes to holding onto the healthy lifestyle habits you’ve worked so hard to cultivate throughout the year. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are small things you can do each day through the holidays and in January to help maintain your healthy ways.

If you’re someone who works better when you have a goal to stick to, you’ll love this—here’s a Mini-Challenge you can do to help you stay on track this holiday season. Just follow these 5 simple steps and you’ll feel energized and healthy despite all of the temptation in your path.

1. Drink hot water + lemon first thing in the morning

  • Improved digestion: Lemon juice flushes unwanted materials and toxins from your body. Hydrating also helps curb cravings.
  • Balanced pH: Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for your body; disease states only occur when your body pH is acidic.
  • Boosts immunity: Warm water and lemon juice supports the immune system by hydrating and replacing fluids lost by your body. When your body is deprived of water, you quickly feel the side effects  feeling tired, sluggish, constipation, lack of mental clarity, feeling stressed, etc. Lemons are high in vitamin C, potassium, and have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

2. Eat 3 meals and 1 snack

It’s important to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day; otherwise, you’ll end up looking for the easiest (and not necessarily the healthiest) choice when your levels drop. Do this by eating three nutritionally balanced meals and one whole-food snack every day. This allows you to burn your own body fat between meals.

3. Drink ½ your body weight in water

This will help keep you feeling full and satiated throughout the day and help kepp your cells hydrated. By drinking filtered water, you’ll also help your body flush toxins in your system.

4. Enjoy cocktails or treats on the weekends only

Remember: food is love, food is celebration, and during the holidays, you’re surrounding yourself with all of that, so give yourself permission to indulge! On the weekends, allow yourself 2 cocktails and/or 2 treats (or 1 cocktail and 1 treat) at festive celebrations.

5. Eat 5–9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily

Load up on colorful, organic, seasonal fruits and veggies whenever possible, aiming for at least 5 servings per day or 4 1/2 cups, mostly veggies. This will provide your body with lots of fiber to keep you feeling full plus a complete range of phytonutrients to keep you feeling your best.

Whether you indulge or maintain your healthy habits this holiday season, my wish is that you experience great joy and peace.

Karen Malkin Health Counseling Logo

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